Friday, August 4, 2017

Can't Hardly Breathe Review

Can't Hardly Breathe was such a fun book for me! I've been in a bit of a reading slump so I decided to pick up  this book. I'm a sucker for romance novels, even the cheesy ones. This book was far from cheesy. I loved every minute of it. 

The book starts out sharing a glimpse into Dorothea (don't call her Dottie!) and Daniel's past. Beginning the story the way she did, I think Gena Showalter set the tone for the rest of the book very well. Dorothea is tough as nails but because of things in her past, she has convinced herself otherwise. Her self-esteem is lower than lower as we meet the present Dorothea. It's very easy to relate to and sympathize with her. Who hasn't had  a moment of feeling like they weren't worthy? 

One of my favorite things about this book is that Dorothea doesn't just think she's not the traditional standard of beautiful, she really isn't. Every guy in town isn't falling all over themselves for her attention. Well, not at first, anyway. She's beautiful to Daniel. He sees her in a way that the other characters in the book don't and while it thrills Dorothea, it scares her too. Throughout the book her confidence and self-worth grows as she grows as a person. She finally breaks out of the shell she's been living in and makes an effort to live in the real world, even when it's hard and scary. 
The characters are fleshed out well. Most of the focus is on Dorothea and Daniel but you do get a glimpse into the personalities of the other characters and what makes them tick. It's a really good set up for the rest of the series. You learn just enough about them to keep you interested. 

I highly recommend this book. I couldn't put it down until I was finished! Gena Showalter has been added to my favorite authors list and I cannot wait to read the rest of this series! (Especially Brock, he was one of my favorite characters!) 

Monday, July 24, 2017

I'm back. For good this time.

You can see from my post history that this blog hasn't been active in almost two years. 

I created this blog, and Ella, in hopes of having an outlet for my writing and reading that I didn't have to explain to anyone. Ella wasn't me. I wasn't Ella. She could do and say things that I was too afraid to for fear of judgement from certain people in my life. I let that fear drive me from the point of creating Ella to near insanity. 

I wanted to separate my writing from my real life. There's so much inside my head that I'd like to write out and even publish but I didn't want my name attached to it. A pen name seemed appropriate and Ella was born. I spent my time reading and reviewing books in hopes that it would help me learn more about different writing styles and techniques. Instead of taking notes, I used it as a distraction from everything else in my world. I was literally hiding myself away from the world behind a stack of books. 

I did eventually reveal to family and friends that I was Ella after I wrote the Book. I hate it so much that I don't even refer to it by name now. It's just the Book, as if it were a tragic accident. Sometimes, I really think it was. I tried to pretend that I was proud of the work that I'd done and published and put out into the world. I tried to promote it and accept criticism and compliments gracefully. All while I was dying inside. It was terrible. If it had been a book I was reviewing, it would have been marked a HUGE DNF. 

I was spiraling deeper and deeper into depression not just from my writing but from everything around me. I was trying so hard to be a good mother, a good wife, a good friend, the list goes on. I was caring so much for other people in my life that I neglected every aspect of myself. Myself was no long a "self". I was just  shell that was so close to broken that I could feel myself cracking. I let the weight of caring for others, worrying after others, worrying what others thought of me, consume me. I let all of that completely strip me of who I was and what I cared about. I had abandoned my ship and was treading water after everyone else's boat. 

Living life with mental illness is very hard. Even when it's treated, it's still a struggle. Living life with several other people who also suffer from severe mental illnesses, both treated and untreated, can sometimes make life a living hell. 

I have taken control back over myself and have been making it a point to take time out for myself for things that I enjoy. I've started back writing and reading. Book reviews should be posted soon. I refuse to let myself get back to such a broken place. I also refuse to let other peoples' opinions dictate how I live my life. 

From now on I will be writing and posting under my real name, Tiffany. So if you see a strange new name, that's me. Ella has been put on a shelf for the time being. Maybe I'll bring her back out in the form of a character in a story I write. 

Stick around. I promise I won't disappear this time!

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